Two health authority reports reassuring about mobile telephony – June 2016

Opinion of the Health Council of The Netherlands

Based on the epidemiological and experimental data from two previous reports updated with recent information, the Electromagnetic Fields Committee of the Health Council of the Netherlands has drawn overall conclusions on the relationship between exposure to cell phones RF fields and the risk of cancer..  The Committee jointly considered the epidemiological and experimental data to formulate its conclusions.

“The Committee feels that it is not possible to state that there is a proven association between long-term and frequent use of a mobile telephone and an increase in the risk of tumours in the brain and head and neck region in humans. Based on the strength of the evidence it can only be concluded that such an association cannot be excluded. The Committee considers it unlikely that exposure to radiofrequency fields, which is associated with the use of mobile telephones, causes cancer. The animal data indicate a possibility of a promoting effect, but it is not clear whether this could explain the increased risk for tumours in the brain, head and neck that has been observed in some epidemiological studies. The Committee feels it more likely that a combination of bias, confounding and chance might be an explanation for the epidemiological observations.”

The council therefore recommends to keep exposures as low as reasonably possible and to continue investigating the effects.

Bibliographical reference:
Mobile phones and cancer. Part 3. Overall conclusions.
Health Council of the Netherlands, The Hague, 2016; publication no. 2016/06. ISBN 978-94-6281-098-3. Released June 1, 2016.

Opinion of  the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority

The Scientific Council on Electromagnetic Fields of the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) has release its 11th report on EMF and health risk. The present annual report covers studies published from October 2014 up to and including September 2015.

Concerning cell phone exposure, the report states: “Altogether [the evidence] provides no or at most little indications for a risk for up to approximately 15 years of mobile phone use. No empirical data are available for longer use; however, cancer rates in Sweden and other countries do not show any increase that might be attributed to the massive mobile phone use that started in the beginning of this century.”

For fixed towers, the expert group concludes: “[…] there is increasing evidence for the absence of an increased risk for cancer for persons living in the vicinity of a transmitter.”

The Scientific Council also looked at the claimed effects on male reproduction when mobile phones are carried in trouser pockets. “[…] almost all of these studies were of low quality in terms of how the studies were designed and analysed and the results are therefore not informative regarding the presence or absence of potential risks. Furthermore, animal studies did not support those effects.”

Concerning electrosensitivity, “there is increasing evidence over the years for absence of acute risks.”

Bibliographical reference:
Recent Research on EMF and Health Risk – Eleventh report from SSM’s Scientific Council on Electro-magnetic Fields, 2016 – Including Thirteen years of electromagnetic field research monitored by SSM’s Scientific Council on EMF and health: How has the evidence changed over time?
Report number 2016:15, ISSN: 2000-0456. Author: Swedish Radiation Safety Authority’s (SSM) Scientific Council on Electromagnetic Fields. May 2016.